Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “Hamlet”

Evans, Delia and There’s No Place Like Home

 Look – not one pointless apostrophe or errant comma.

I am to blame. Me and others like me. “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Show a man Eddie at Evans and he will joss half his wages on a Royal Dorade and Samphire.” Until… the cost of twins at Boots, the inability to walk more than 50 yards without a Costa and the come hither ease of M&S fish porn mean that a wallet-emptying, life-enhancing trip to Evans becomes less regular. 

My grandmother first took me to Evans. After my pram was pushed to Inman’s, I held my Didsbury Grandmother’s hand as we went to the “new fish shop” to buy Hake which then became the greatest Gefilte Fish (chopped and boiled or fried) each week.   Exotic seafood

I have wooed on the back of their langoustines but recently, laziness and children have reduced me to roll mops and kippers. As Hamlet said, “oh that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a Fish Stew (ish). 

If the staff takeover works I’ll be back next week with a Halibut hop and the jauntiness of a cheeky bream. 

And so to Delia’s. It’s not all Hispi Chic and Botanist beauty in M20 (although I have offered to trade a child for their Salt’n’Pepper Onion). Delia’s Gone. I remember original Delia. I was an impressionsble teen, she was a bit vibrant and scary and I think I had a crush on her between Banaramama and Clare Grogan. The flowers were a treat I learned went down well. Delia sadly died but her name has gone on for several decades with brilliant Darren most recently running the shop and the delivery from Holland. The wall full of bath bombs looked like an admission of failure and smelled awful but we need a Delia’s in the village and should hang our heads at the ease with which we slipped into the garage or Tescos. I told him to get a Costa Machine in to bring in the punters.     When Delia’s closure was announce people movingly rushed to put flowers outside as a tribute.

What next? Will Karma Sutra move downstairs? Is there room for a new Waitrose? How can these shut when Bourbon & Black stays open? 

With Felicini’s / Mud Crab / Y Fabrica changing its name every week and Manor Service Station becoming an Off Licence these are strange days. The village centre is starting to feel a bit empty and the rents are proving prohibitive. This is not strong and stable. However it does mean that traditional Didsbury is now probably epitomised by one of our oldest residents, Kansas Fried Chicken.

I’m still working away a lot at the moment but I know now. Whenever I’m homesick I click my red Nike Air Force Ones and say “There’s No Place Like Home, can I have Chicken gravy?”  

 The new official colours of Didsbury – Melchester Rovers. 

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Don’t Quote Me – But this is wonderful

Sleep, the final frontier. That undiscovered country from whose Bourne no traveller has returned that makes us rather seek out new planets, soft you now. Hold on. I’m getting Shatner and Shakespeare mixed up again. It’s sleep depravation.
The constant whine of the parent. Hello, I ‘m Didsbury Dad and I was face down in the focaccia after a night with so much bed-hopping it was like Freshers Week at the Borgias. Even the cats moved from one side of the couch to the other chasing the final hurrah of the summer sun before they hibernate and get jabbed by the babies.
The twins are 1 this week. They stumble around the house with robotic lurches and fear-free charges. The cats’ bowl, flap and tails are magnets and watching the two nappy-wrapped bottoms take the stairs like a climbing wall is one of life’s indulgent little pleasures. Didsbury Son and I commentate as they wriggle past the “Welcome Home” banner that is now a permanent artwork and family heirloom. Even my own Didsbury Dad won the bet on a visit as Pearl-Haired girl nimbly left my little tank trailing in her wake. Their delight when they reach the top – with no plan as to what they do next is a fabulous antidote to the time-coded minutiae of everyday life.
Each movement is now accompanied by a babbling soundtrack of ascending intensity. My little blondini girl sways and dances to everything from the dishwasher to the 30th daily rendition of. “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. My tank boy sat transfixed through a whole Champions League match, knowing in 10 years we will be in the same position, doing the same thing, with our hands on the same packet of snacks.
Aah – Had we but world and time, a small step for a grown up – a giant leap for a baby. If only Everyday was like Sunday; we could mooch all day.

(Play Morrissey – Everyday is Like Sunday here and hum gracefully)

School Plays – A father’s story

Didsbury Son is in the school play. This means a week of tears and tantrums as he won’t let me give him direction or amend his script. Shakespeare – it was written for ad-lib, toilet gag and interpretation. I’ve been to the naughty step, but Didsbury Son’s thespian career throws me a dilemma.

The newest Didsbury Daughter prepares for a career on stage by staying asleep at a photo shoot.

The newest Didsbury Daughter prepares for a career on stage by staying asleep at a photo shoot.

For me, there are few things better than watching Didsbury Son on stage. His final junior school play was a romp. Aided by the fact that they had given up teaching in January and had to fill in from  9 and 3 until July (between ubiquitous theme days – see June blogs), it was lush and  Didsbury Son was brilliant. In Yiddish terms I schlepped nacchus and qvelled. In English, I was proud.
However, much more important than him being brilliant, he was on stage for 90% of the 80 minutes. This soothed my short attention span and meant I didn’t have to spend too long watching other Didsbury sons and daughters.
At a previous primary school the concerts were so bad I used to fantasise that the gushing Headmaster would bring out the music teacher and indict her for crimes against sound.
I am not precious about this. I don’t expect anyone else to be entranced by my little prince and I find it difficult to feign interest most of the time unless they are
A) really bad and I can tell jokes to Didsbury Son afterwards.
B) I’m a blood relative.
C) see A.
The lighting at the play wasn't really condusive to good photography

The lighting at the play wasn’t really condusive to good photography

So to Shakespeare for the under 15s
“All the world’s a stage but that doesn’t mean you should be on it”
“If music be the food of love this is as nourishing as One Direction playing in  McDonalds.”
“Soft you now, the fair Ophelia. Nymph, get the car started this is awful.”
So finding out that Didsbury Son is on stage 2 hours and 25 minutes in to this bardfest is a source of torture and its all my own failing. They are actually quite good and the costumes are worthy of more attention. However, after a day that began at 4am changing an explosion in a Moses Basket that could have seen it sink the original Moses. After a journeythat included enough time on the motorway to count lamposts, I can’t be alone in not wanting to sit on a school chair with acoustics designed under water waiting way past my new bedtime to see Didsbury Son  finally shine like a beacon whilst the audience is fretting about missing Masterchef.
What did we do in these situations before smartphones?
When school plays get too boring I retreat to a happy place.

When school plays get too boring I retreat to a happy place.

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